To visit the Gardens, House & Gallery, please book a ticket online before you arrive. The Stables, Plant Centre & Caffè + Gelato are free to enter. Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening (except 30th June, 22nd September)
At this time of year it is important to keep on top of weeds before they flower, seed and double their population. Some people say that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place. Rosie says they are just flowers travelling through. I can't tell you what I say as it's not polite!
... but, here's a good solution to some of your weed problems- why not eat them?
There are loads of edible weeds. In fact our poor impoverished student Hannah has been virtually living off nettle soup for the last few weeks. The leaves are best harvested at this time of year when they are young and fresh and before they become too bitter. Obviously wear gloves when harvesting ( I also put my hand inside a carrier bag). When cooked the sting disappears leaving you with a lovely flavour and more iron content than spinach.
Hannah's Nettle soup recipe
Soften an onion and a clove of garlic in some oil. Add a cubed up potato. Add the nettles to the pan and pour over vegetable stock. Once the potato has softened blitz the soup up, season and add nutmeg. You could also add a dollop of cream too.
Give it a go!
And why not try some of these:
From my own veg plot at home I like to harvest the dandelion leaves for salads and even the flowers chopped up in a salad will add a splash of colour and flavour.
Jack- in -the -hedge has lovely mustardy leaves to spice up your salad.
Navelwort has a lovely cucumber taste.
Cleavers can be steamed like spinach and is again an excellent source of iron.
Keep checking in damp areas beside rivers and streams for wild garlic- you will probably smell it before you see it. It has lush strappy leaves with a strong garlic flavour and you can add the little white flowers to your salads for a garlic twist- lovely.
My top tips on foraging are to avoid busy road sides and sides of pavements where a dog may have peed. Always give it a good wash before use!
So when the weeding gets you down, think laterally and get harvesting!